A community-based Israeli nonprofit predicated upon the North American Jewish Federation model is launching an ambitious fundraising drive that aims to secure funds solely from its own domestic ranks.
The year-old Ramat Hasharon Community Foundation - also known as "Takdim" ("precedent" ) in Hebrew - has already raised $300,000 in its first annual drive, according to Arik Rosenblum, Takdim's U.S.-born managing director. It seeks to raise $1 million over two years for four projects that will serve both the estimated 46,000 residents of Ramat Hasharon and Israelis outside its own community via joint programs.
"The Federation model doesn't only look inward but looks outward," said Champagne, Illinois native Debra London, Takdim's co-founder, who serves on its executive council and its community connections committee. "That's new for a community in Israel and puts us on the same level as American donors and federations."
The foundation claims to be Israel's only such entity inspired by the Federation model of community-wide philanthropy - one that is anchored by an annual local fundraising drive and draws upon the active, volunteer participation of its local lay leadership.
"Seventy percent of the resources we raise will serve the needs of our own community, and 30 percent will be invested in projects outside Ramat Hasharon," explained Doron Levinson, who chairs Takdim's community connections committee.
David Epstein, who heads an Israel-based consulting firm that provides resource development services to Israeli nonprofits, says Takdim's commitment to projects outside its community sets it apart from other community foundations, which limit their giving to their local community.
"While the major community foundations in Israel, such as the Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa Foundations, focus most of their fundraising efforts abroad, they also each have some level of contributions from Israeli residents and businesses," notes Epstein, the CEO of Israelgrants.com.
"The clear emphasis of the Ramat Hasharon model on fundraising within their own local community is one which should serve as a model which should be emulated by all other community foundations in Israel."
Among the Takdim projects slated for 2012-13 are an "inclusive playground" that includes accessibility for children and adults with disabilities; a social entrepreneurship program for youth; and a program linking Ramat Hasharon with residents of the Lachish area of southern Israel.
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